Ross Rebagliati is a Canadian professional snowboarder.
After turning pro in 1991 and racing in a variety of events with varying results, Ross broke though in a big way when he won an Olympic gold medal for Men’s Snowboarding at the 1998 Winter Olympics in its inaugural year. Shortly after winning the gold, he was found to have Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in his circulatory system and he was automatically disqualified. This decision was eventually overturned, largely on the basis that marijuana was not on the list of banned substances and Rebagliati was given back the medal. THC has since been listed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as a banned substance.
On August 2, 2006 Rebagliati filed suit against Canadian television broadcaster CTV. The suit was filed in the British Columbia Supreme Court, and charges CTV with misappropriation of personality, breach of privacy and defamation. Rebagliati claims that a character on their TV series Whistler is based on him and has damaged his image. The character in question, Beck MacKaye, is a blond, blue-eyed, Olympic gold medal-winning snowboarder who lives in Whistler. CTV denied his claims, but the suit was ultimately settled out of court.
Rebagliati was the subject of full-page coverage in the July 14, 2008 edition of Sports Illustrated, which profiled his life since his Olympic win.
On October 23, 2009, Rebagliati announced that he would seek the federal Liberal Party nomination for the Okanagan—Coquihalla riding, in British Columbia. At the time, political observers suggested that this could be a tough challenge for the former Olympian, as the seat was held by Minister of International Trade, Stockwell Day. Eventually he bowed out as his business ventures brought him home to Whistler.
For the past five years, Mr. Rebagliati has been involved in multi-million dollar real estate development projects throughout British Columbia, as well as residential construction.
In January 2013, Ross and his business partner, Patrick Smyth launched Ross’ Gold, a chain of medical marijuana shops that trades on his fame. Ross’s Gold expects to set up a flagship store in Whistler this summer once the federal government privatizes the medical marijuana production industry.